“What will it be like if people know what happened to me?!”
What if people ask, “Why bring all this out now?”
“Why did it take you so long to talk about your childhood trauma?”
Even though I was challenged by fear, I made the decision to write and publish a book. I know that writing a book can sound like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can start with journaling a few sentences each day, in just a regular notebook. I actually used some of what I wrote, when I started writing down my feelings, twenty years ago.
I can now say, starting the process of writing, was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to the fear around turning my journal into a book.
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Céline. I am an overcomer, and a Productivity and Confidence Coach.
I am 45 years old and live in Copenhagen, Denmark. I’m the youngest of three siblings. My parents are from the French West Indies. My mother is from Terre-de-Bas, a French island located in the Atlantic Ocean. My father is from the neighboring island, Martinique.
After suffering years of traumatic physical and emotional abuse, my mother divorced my father when I was three.
Then, he abandoned us. In fact, I never saw him again until the age of twenty.
Left with the enormous task of being both father and mother.
Instead of dealing with her own mental health issues, she continued the vicious cycle. She regularly physically and emotionally abused us.
My siblings and I were left with deep emotional problems.
Childhood traumatic experiences often cause post traumatic stress disorders, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bulimia, and learning disabilities.
Death seemed better than living with anxiety attacks.
At 7 years old, I realized even though I could not find words to describe what was happening at home, something was wrong with my mother’s behavior.
She brought us up in a very strict religious environment. Because of this, she and I didn’t have a healthy mother-daughter relationship.
So, around the age of 11, I started rebelling. I didn’t feel the need to be brilliant at school or try to impress anyone. I stopped being the well behaved little girl that everybody wanted me to be, because I knew that no matter what I was doing my mother would never love me.
As the ultimate act of rebellion, I attempted to end my life, because of the depression and panic attacks. Studies have shown that in the last 10 years, teenage suicide rates, have increased.
At that point, I decided to become who I wanted to be.
However, my childhood trauma took years to overcome. My journey of healing was extremely challenging.
Writing became my therapy.
I started journaling when I was 17 years old.
The freedom of my thoughts being put on paper, released some of my childhood trauma (low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, anger, deep sadness, anxiety). I guess writing was a way for me to escape my reality and start the healing process of my childhood trauma.
As long as I was writing, I was free. It was similar to having a secret place I could hide and retreat to, any time I wanted.
I only had to find a piece of paper and a pen to open the door to this magical oasis.
Around the same time, I also started writing songs and singing. My passion for music opened doors for me in the entertainment world, and I soon began making a name for myself.
In 2013, I was blessed to perform to an audience of 15,000 at Les Francofolies de la Rochelle. Yet, I remained “haunted” by my past and that prevented me from being truly happy.
It was critical that the truth be told.
Because, I have a legacy to leave behind.
After many years of struggling internally, and feeling deeply unsatisfied, I decided to write about my childhood trauma.
Mes corrections is the title of my autobiography.
Quite surprisingly, I managed to self publish and complete my book within 9 months.
In the beginning though, fear paralyzed me and I wasn’t able to write. I was so scared of being judged.
What about you ?
Have you started writing, and then stopped, because you’re afraid of the truth being known?
Are you concerned that your writing will be judged?
Or, is your specific situation more serious?
Could telling your story put your life in danger?
Childhood trauma shaped the individual that you are today. You have carried the hurt and pain that you have been through, all this time.
You can let go of some of the pain.
There are a lot of repercussions from intense emotional pain that will continue to damage your life.
Are the events still so vibrant in your mind that you are living like it was yesterday? Do you feel like you can’t give or receive love because of what happened to you when you were a child?
Or, maybe you don’t believe you can find the right partner?
Could it be that in intimate relationships, you have unrealistic expectations ?
Do you know that there is a bigger purpose for your life, but deep down inside, you know something is holding you back?
Considering putting words to your childhood traumatic experiences?
Here is 5 advices I have.
1. You have to be ready
You must be ready to face your demons and make a promise to yourself that you will NOT give up. But it doesn’t mean that you need to rush the process.
Take as much time as you need. This is for you. It will help you to heal.
2.You will feel uncomfortable at times
When I was talking about something other than myself, I felt very safe. In fact, I tried hard to stay in this comfort zone. It was a place of suppressing and avoiding, so that I didn’t have to talk about or face the memories from my childhood.
When people asked me about my parents, I always found creative ways to escape the question, in order not to answer.
3. You will be stretched
Anxiety and depression raged within me for many years, causing low self esteem and anger, along with other mental health issues. It felt extremely dark and heavy.
Taking even one step towards loving myself, through writing was almost impossible. I was being held captive within my mind, even though I so desperately wanted out.
Finally though, writing became the key to releasing me from captivity. Gradually, as I wrote the experiences on paper, my mind started to be at peace.
4. You will never be the same again, because you will no longer be a victim
The truth is, writing about your trauma will help you break free from the chains of victimhood.
The powerless feeling, you may have felt all those years, suffering in silence, will slowly turn to strength. .
A victim wants to be valued, acknowledged, seen and heard. Writing will allow for this to happen.
5. You will be vulnerable
The Cambridge dictionary defines childhood trauma as:
Every traumatic experience is very personal and no one can judge how difficult the suffering was for you.
When you start to write, a self sabotage power may try and enter. You might think that you will be judged as a bad writer, and this can feel crushing.
Fight through it though, so that your story will be told.
Yes you will be vulnerable, but how many people will be set free by sharing your story?
Take a deep breath for a moment, and then let this sink in:
everybody has a story worth sharing.
I’m sure you’ve already experienced and survived, fearful situations in your life. If you are considering writing a book, there really isn’t a big difference between the fear you’ve already faced and the fear in sharing your story.
All you need are a few tools to help you get started.
First off, realize, there are lots of benefits in writing about your childhood trauma. The first one, and
the most important, is that you will take back your power.
Along with this, here are some other benefits:
Writing about your childhood trauma will set you free.
Your story will become someone else’s survival guide
What do you need to start?
If you don’t have a plan the process will be much more difficult.
Do what is necessary to prepare ahead of time, because “preparation is key.”
Start with these 3 simple but powerful tips…
Protect your energy and yourself at all costs. Before starting, you might want to talk with a psychologist, who can help support you, during the writing journey. For some people, it helps to revisit the place where the painful events took place. Although helpful for some, it can also be extremely emotionally challenging; a professional can help with this, too.
When you think about writing, try to think positive about it. Instead of seeing a huge staircase you need to climb, just look at it as one step (stair) at a time. Picture each step as being one single chapter. You can take it step by step, writing one chapter a time.
Also, realize that you may not have a lot of extra time in your schedule to spend writing.
This is ok.
Find a peaceful location to write: a designated room in your house, or maybe the library.
If you don’t have a designated place in your house, if possible, schedule your writing when nobody else is home, or write when everyone in your house is asleep.
Emotionally, prepare yourself. Specifically, when writing about traumatic experiences, feelings will come to the surface. Writing of this kind, will ask you to pour out of your heart something inside, that you may have buried for many years. However, not sharing your story will keep the secret alive.
If the fear was out of the way, would you be willing to start writing your book today?
My life was a blank page when I was born. I wasn’t allowed the opportunity to choose what was written on the first page of the book. My mother was the author, and what she wrote was radically different than what I would have chosen. Thankfully, this was only for a short period of time. Now, I am the author of the rest of my story. I am writing the following chapters of my life.
One of my goals is to support and encourage others to share their traumatic childhood story.
You can do the same and I can help you.